Archive for the ‘Instructional Exercises’ category

Geometric Planes Used to Describe Curriculum and Instruction

December 18, 2009

An Exercise …
Geometric Planes Used to Describe Curriculum and Instruction
“A well rounded education,” “ Think outside of the box,” “Spiral Curriculum,” “Block Scheduling,”
“Laddering” and “Looping,” are among the terms using a geometric plane be it a circle, a box, a block, a
flat plane, a loop or a spiral as the identifying characteristic of the purpose of education, an approach to
curriculum and instruction, and school organization. It is the usually the contention of proponents of each
initiative that their term conveys a distinct approach to curriculum development and/or instructional
application or schooling in general.
Practitioners ought to be able to distinguish one approach from the other and be able to identify the
principles of learning under girding each, especially the approach being adhered to by you in your practice.
In this exercise we will explore the distinctions and compare each to your practice. We will strive to set the
stage for you to make a value judgment related to each and to assess each against your practice.
In this Exercise you are being asked to:
1. Work with a partner or a small group of not more than four including yourself.
2. Define each of the terms or approaches cited above. Or, as an alternative determined by the
instructor and/or the Facilitation Committee, the term or approach assigned to you and your
partner or small group. This will require Internet based research utilizing Google, Yahoo or
another appropriate search engine.
3. Beyond defining the term or approach engage in a “Divergent Thinking Exercise” listing
separately the pros and cons, [also identified as: pluses and minuses, strengths and weaknesses] of
each term or approach or the one assigned to your group. If necessary the instructor will provide
direct input on Divergent Thinking.
4. Participate in a “Round Robin” or “Share and Slide” exercise where the data generated by each
pair or small group will be shared.
5. Individually – not in a pair or as a member of a small group – relate what has been shared to your
own practice. This requires personal reflection and assessment.
6. In a “share and Slide” exercise relate your individual views to those you share with.
7. In a subsequent whole class discussion be prepared to share with colleagues your views related to
this exercise. To what extent has it had any value for you? Has it expanded your understanding of
the terms and approaches considered? Will it have any influence on your practice? If not, why
bother to engage in it?
Larry Creedon,,
Korea 12-08


Expectations Consolidation Exercise

December 18, 2009

Expectations Consolidation Exercise
A Special Assignment
As an on line exercise each course participant developed a set of personal expectations.
Those were shared with the appropriate instructor via e mail and a response with
comments was returned to the originator. The next step is to consolidate individual
expectations into one comprehensive listing. The comprehensive listing will be a factor in
guiding the content of the course.
In the Expectations Exercise three principles of learning are being embraced:
1. Begin the learning process with the identifiable learning interests and needs of the
2. Those who are to be affected by a decision ought to be involved in the process of
making, implementing and being held accountable for decisions made.
3. Learning is an interactive activity.
The next steps are as follows:
1. The Facilitation Committee or a committee named especially for this purpose will
manage the process. Hereafter the FC.
2. The FC will review all the Expectations submitted by individuals. They are found
on the Framingham Yahoo site for the course.
3. The FC will divide the entire class into small groups of not to exceed four
4. Each participant will meet with his/her group and have with them two copies of
their expectations with instructor comments.
5. In their small group and under the leadership of a member of the FC each small
group will share within their group their individual expectations.
6. The sharing will be done orally with each group member presenting.
7. The FC chair person will keep one composite list of expectations on newsprint
[easel board paper]. The list will be posted where all can view it as it develops.
Repeat expectations will be signaled by a check mark [􀀁] next to the original
8. Once each member of the group has shared his/her expectations the small group
will prioritize its consolidated list of expectations.
9. The priority ranking will follow the below guidelines:
a. Highest Priority: Those issues that can be addressed internally by
individuals or a school faculty without recourse to authority, permission or
help beyond that already available in the school.
b. Second Priority: Those issues that while beyond the power of individuals
or a school faculty to directly influence do have an immediate impact on
individual practice.
c. Third Priority: Those issues that have identified an area or practice that is
in conflict with what is known about how children come to know and
defined “Best Practice.”
d. Fourth Priority: Other concerns.
10. Once this has been accomplished the small groups will adjourn and return to the
whole class environment and meet with the instructor for whatever comes next.
11. At this point the FC members will meet together and consolidate the findings of
the small groups into one comprehension listing. The four priorities will be
followed. The comprehensive list will be posted in an appropriate place in the
12. The whole class under the leadership of the FC will gather together and hear the
final report from the FC and view the comprehensive expectations list.
13. Questions for clarification will be entertained.
14. At the beginning of every class session the Expectations will be reviewed by the
whole class as follows:
a. Adequately addressed — Nothing more needs to be done. Closure
b. Inadequately addressed — Specific areas need to be addressed further
such as [name them]
c. On going consideration
d. Eliminated from consideration
e. Changed/modified to a different expectation. Such as [name it]
15. Periodically the FC will compare the Comprehensive Expectations with the
course syllabus. Action as appropriate will be recommended to the instructor.
Lawrence P. Creedon, Helen L. Ross
Saipan, October 2008

Share and Slide

December 18, 2009

Share and Slide
An Interactive Exercise for Involving Individuals in Pairs using a Bloom Based Approach to Discussion.

The purpose of share and slide is to provide an opportunity for participants in pairs to share in a one-on-one discussion with a colleague related to a pre identified issue. Discussion is guided by following the six categories of Bloom’s cognitive taxonomy. The categories are: information, comprehension, compare and contrast, synthesis, evaluation and application.

After a pre determined period of time (approximately 10 to 15 minutes) the pairs slide to new discussion partners and repeat the procedure of sharing.  Sliding to a new partner is repeated three to four times. An advantage of this exercise is that all participants are simultaneously involved and by repeating their report to several individuals they come to streamline their own position as well as sharpen their critical listening skills.

How Share and Slide works
1. Place two rows of chairs facing each other but spaced far enough apart so that conversation from one pair does not interfere with neighboring pairs.
2. Two classmates sit opposite each other and facing each other
3. The partners then share with each other their views related to the assignment. In discussion they follow Bloom’s six categories.
4. After 10 to 15 minutes the “Time Keeper” (a colleague) indicates that “Time is up.”
5. Then all the people in one row of chairs move, slide, down one person to a new partner. The people in the other row do not move.
6. Now each person has a new partner and they share the same information back and forth with their new partner.
7. This is repeated three to four times so that each person gets to share his or her views with three to four different colleagues.

Purpose and Advantages of Share and Slide
1.  It maximizes involvement and participation. Rather than having individuals give individual reports to the whole class or group while everyone else “listens,” share and slide involves everyone participating simultaneously.
2. It is an example of the definition of learning as:  “The Simultaneous and Mutual interaction of the Learner and the Environment (SMILE)’”
3. It allows for more involvement than a whole class or group discussion where verbal class members will speak up, while the quiet members remain silent. In share and slide everyone is actively engaged all the time.
4. By the time each person has shared his/her view several times with different classmates, he/or she understands what he/she is saying quite well.   Extraneous information is eliminated and the presenter gets right to the point. It is like doing several drafts of a paper.
5. It helps individuals get to know and understand one another a bit better while focusing on a specific topic.

At What Level is Share and Slide Effective?
We have worked share and slide from the third grade through graduate school.

Creedon/Ross 2003

How to Use Instructional Objectives as a Learning Tool

December 18, 2009

How to Use Instructional Objectives as a Learning Tool
An Exercise
Lawrence P. Creedon
Instructional objectives address two basic questions and they are:
Where are the learners being taken?
How are they going to get there?
The Where are we going dimension of the objective is stated as a declarative
sentence. It declares where the learning activity is going. The How are going to get
there dimension ought to be stated consistent with six domains of Bloom’s cognitive
taxonomy1 For example, and to use a metaphor: Are the learners to get there on foot –
the most basic traditional mode of transportation. If so this would be akin to Bloom’s
low order cognitive category of knowledge [information]. Or, are the learners going
to travel in a more contemporary mode by some form of motor or mechanized
transport? If so, this would be akin to Bloom’s higher order cognitive skills such as
analysis [comparing and contrasting] and synthesis.
Beyond both of these modes the learners might travel meta cognitively, soaring
beyond the confines of terra firma and into the stratosphere. This conjures up notions
of what Jonathan Livingston Seagull had in mind in asserting: The gull that flies the
highest sees the farthest.2
In this exercise the learner is to:
1. Familiarize self with the stated objectives of the learning activity. The activity
may involve something hands on, interactive with other learners, or using some
form of learning materials including audio visual or electronic.
2. Make a personal judgment as to whether or not the objective(s) stipulate where
the activity is taking the learners. Does it indicate how it is going to take the
learners there?
3. Ask yourself questions such as:
a. Is the instructional objective taking me to a place where I want to go or
need to go?[(Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development]
b. Is the instructional objective going to challenge me cognitively?[(Bloom’s
Cognitive Taxonomy].
4. Given responses to the two questions above, what should you do? How should
you proceed? In itself this could be a venture into a meta cognitive process.
For the purposes of this exercise we will conclude that you, as the learner, have
decided to move ahead. That being the case the next step is to analyze each objective.
For example, consider the objectives in the accompanying table. They are taken from
Robert Tauber, Classroom Management – Sound Theory and Effective Practice. The
action words in the list of objectives and the number of times each action verb is used
are: classify -1, identify – 2, explain – 4, name -1, defend – 1, and explain -1.
Tauber, CM – Sound Theory & Effective Practice, Chapter 7 Objectives:
William Glasser’s Reality Therapy
1. Classify, using the theoretical framework presented in Chapter 2, William
Glasser’s Reality Therapy, Choice Theory and Quality Schools model
2. Identify the steps in reality therapy
3. Identify the elements necessary for the school to be seen as a good place
4. Explain how classroom rules should be formed
5. Explain the concept of choice theory
6. Name the basic human needs as identified by Glasser
7. Explain how these basic human needs can be used as a basis for motivating
8. Defend how learning is the key to meeting all human needs
9. Explain the concept of quality schools
10. Explore whether Glasser’s Reality Therapy, Choice Therapy, and Quality
Schools model is for you.
A conclusion that can be drawn from this cursory analysis is that the basic intention
of Tauber is to provide a low order cognitive consideration of William Glasser’s Reality
Therapy, Choice Therapy, and Quality Schools. In addition the author does provide
information so that the learner can engage in higher order cognitive activities such as:
1. Classify Glasser’s concept within the spectrum of other approaches to discipline,
behavior and CM.
2. Defend Glasser’s notion that learning is the key to meeting all human needs.
3. Explore the feasibility of applying Glasser’s theory to the learners own practice.
Through this process of analyzing the instructional objective the learner can conclude to
what extent the learning activity will address the two questions asked above.
A reality in the process of education is that not always do educators preface a learning
activity with criterion based and referenced instructional objectives. Frequently these
factors are not included at all.
Tauber does not fall into this category. Each chapter is prefaced with objectives written
consistent with recognized criteria. He stands as an example of how instructional
objectives can serve as a tool in learning.3
1 Bloom’s six cognitive domain categories are: Knowledge (I prefer to use the term Information),
Comprehension, Analysis (Compare and Contrast), Synthesis, Evaluation, and Application).
2 Richard Bach has authored many inspirational books including Jonathon Livingston Seagull.
3 Other examples of the application of instructional objectives as tools in learning are
those found in the various syllabi of Creedon courses. In these the connection is made
between instructional objectives and rubrics.
Ipse dixit
Lawrence P. Creedon
Pompano Beach, Florida
April 2003

The Reflective Practitioner – A Three Part Exercise

December 18, 2009

The Reflective Practitioner – A Three Part Exercise
Lawrence P. Creedon
The Reflective Practitioner Exercise [hereafter RP] is in three parts with three separate due dates. Part 1 is
the only part that is a pre course exercise. Parts 2 and 3 will be completed when class is in session.
Part One [RP 1]
RP 1 asks you to identify and describe a current issue that is impacting on your practice. Below are
examples that are drawn from several different areas and courses. You are not being asked to respond to
these examples, but rather to view them as examples. You task is to identify an issue from your practice
that is related to the subject area of the course you are taking: Curriculum Theory and Development.
Examples from other courses are:
Describe the actual process by which you are supervised, including not being formally supervised
at all.
Curriculum: Theory and Practice. Three Examples are:
1. Describe what is the foundation, the basis of the curriculum where you practice?
2. In your practice is there a difference between the curriculum and the instructional
3. To what extent are you involved in the development of the curriculum?
Note: You are not being asked to use one of these examples. Cite your own issue.
Classroom management
What is the system of classroom management (CM) in your classroom, in your school? In
describing it go beyond discipline. Discipline is a dimension of CM. It is not the whole thing.
Issues and Influences
Describe an issue in education that is impacting on your practice? Is it helpful or harmful?
Is your practice guided by the findings of research in education? What impact do the findings of
research have on your practice?
RP Exercise Related to the Course You are Enrolled In.
In this exercise you are not being asked to react to each of the course areas cited above. Your assignment is
to focus on the course you are currently enrolled in or are about to take. You are not being asked to
comment on all the course areas cited above. Cite your own concern. You are not being asked to comment
on one of the examples cited above.
Same Topic for all Three Parts of RP
Be careful in the issue you choose to describe in RP 1. It will be the topic you consider in RP 2 and RP 3.
Just Describe, Nothing Else
Your assignment is to just describe a situation, practice or issue that you are engaged in or that has had an
impact on your practice. You are not being asked to critique the situation, praise it, endorse it, or offer your
opinion relative to it. Just describe it. However, do not submit a report that is more fitting as a promotional
or marketing piece. You are not being asked to give “spin” or perpetuate a “myth” related to a situation.
Make your description real and not fiction or wishful thinking. Competent colleagues can recognize fact
from fiction as well as spin and myth from reality.
Length of Your RP 1 Report
Begin when you have something to say and end when you have said it. However, in order to give you some
explicit guidance please limit you report to approximately 500 words. I offer this advice because you are
receiving this assignment over the Internet and possibly your prior experience has been that some
instructors you have worked with have placed a length factor on reports you are asked to submit. I do not.
However, in the absence of personal contact between us, if you are more comfortable with a standard
relative to length, 500 words, arbitrarily arrived at by me, will suffice. Single spaced using WORD.
Format of Report:
1. Your name, date, location, grade or subject specialization, and name of the course
2. Identify your report as RP 1.
3. Give your report a descriptive title
4. Single space
5. Processing using WORD
Submitting Your Report: Due Date October 8, 2007.
1. Submit you RP 1 report to me no later than three weeks [21 calendar days] before the first meeting of the
course. In this case: October 8, 2007.
2. Submit it to me directly to me []. Also upload to the appropriate folder on
FraminghamMaracaibo. If the nature of your report is confidential indicate that to me and do not upload it
on FraminghamMaracaqibo. Send it directly to me at It will be kept confidential.
3. Submit as early as possible after you receive this assignment
Instructor Response: ASK ME, SEE ME
I will respond to your RP 1 report by “Reply e mail.” In my response I might ask you questions and direct
you to ASK ME or SEE ME. Do not gloss over or ignore this request. There is something in your report that
I wish to discuss with you. It is not an indication that I have found fault with what you have reported. It is
an invitation for a more personal dialogue. You are responsible for arranging to ASK ME or for you to SEE
ME. Do not assume that I will ask you. A classmate will have as a duty to keep a calendar of one-on-one
appointments with me. See that person and make an appointment. You do not have to respond via e mail to
me a second or third time in response to questions I ask you. However, please feel free to do so if you wish
to engage in such a dialogue.
Your Grade on RP 1
Your RP 1 report is not graded. It is your opinion. I will not be assessing it. It will not receive a grade.
Final Caution: Rejecting Your RP 1 Report
While your RP 1 report will not be graded I will reject it if it reads as if it is was copied or summarized
from a piece of promotional literature promulgated by your school or by a publisher. These are readily
Reflective Practitioner Part 2
Your RP 2 report is directly related to your RP 1 report. In RP 2 you are being asked to engage in an
Internet search related to what you described in RP 1. RP 2 is a continuation of RP 1. RP 1 cannot be about
one thing and RP 2 something else. If you have not clearly described a situation, practice or issue in RP 1,
you will find it extremely difficult to proceed with RP 2. And, it will unacceptable to me.
Three Research articles: In RP 2 you are to search the Internet, or other source, for a minimum of at least
three articles or sources that are related to what you have described in your RP1 report. A personal
interview with a competent person on the issue you describe in RP 1 can count as one article. Reporting on
a program on radio, TV or from a conference you attended can also count as an article. Reporting on more
than 3 articles is encouraged.
Only Research Findings
In RP 2 you report on the results of your Internet search. Do not interpret, support, or compare your
research findings to RP 1. Just report what the research says. This is an example of a Bloom low order
cognitive exercise: Information and Comprehension. See the Creedon monograph on Bloom.
Develop a Rubric for Self Assessment.
Using the Creedon monographs on rubric development and self assessment as part of this exercise you are
to develop a rubric indicating how you will hold your self accountable for engaging in and completing Part
2 of the RP exercise. You will be assessed by a peer [Your critical friend] using the rubric you have
developed as the assessment instrument. All of this will be reviewed in class.
Format of Report
1. You do not need to follow a specific format. Use a format that is comfortable for you.
2. Begin with the heading information called for in RP 1. Identify the report as RP 2.
3. Include a complete bibliographical reference for each article reviewed
Upload Your Report onto the Framingham Yahoo Site.
Upload your report including your rubric onto the site. If you have difficulty uploading consult with the
classmate who is responsible for this activity. When your report has been uploaded inform the classmate
responsible for this activity. If you do not do this you WILL NOT receive credit for having completed the
exercise. Do not submit your report directly to the instructor, rather, upload it. The purpose for uploading
your report is so that colleagues can have access to your research and your research can contribute to a
locally developed library of information related to specific topics.
Due Date for RP 2: The third Session of Course
Sharing Your RP Research in Class with Classmates
Using an in class interactive exercise you will share your research findings with classmates. The exercise
will be led by your classmate responsible for this activity. Your personally developed rubric will be used in
this exercise.
Your Grade on RP 2.
Your RP 2 report will be rubric assessed using the rubric developed by you
Reflective Practitioner Part 3
It is in RP 3 where you express your point of view. It is here where you indicate what in your point of view
“ought to be.” RP 3 is related to RP1 and RP2. In RP1 your described an issue, in RP 2 you reported on
research related to RP 1. Now in RP 3 you indicate your point of view. Make certain that your point of
view reflects your research. Do you agree or disagree with the research?
Consistent With Bloom
Your RP 3 must reflect Bloom’s higher order cognitive process. See the Creedon monograph on Bloom. It
is here that you compare and contrast, analyze, synthesize and evaluate. It is here that you indicate how you
can apply your findings and point of view to your own practice.
Opinion versus Point of View.
Your RP 3 report is more than your “opinion.” In this context an “opinion” implies that the position taken
is not necessarily supported by research. A “point of view” indicates that your opinion has been enriched
by research.
Format For Your RP 3 Report
Depending upon circumstances as they develop in our course your RP 3 report will be either written or oral.
If written, be guided by the Creedon mantra: Begin when you have something to say. End when you have
said it. Do not ask me how long it should be. Use the format stipulated in RP 1 above.
If oral it will be presented using an interactive small group procedure such as share and slide.
Your Grade on RP 3
You will not be assessed on the point of view you take in your RP 3 report. Assessment will focus on the
extent to which you followed the steps outlined in Bloom’s cognitive taxonomy. This aspect of your RP 3
will be colleague assessed by a “Critical Friend.” using Bloom as a guide.
Due Date for RP 3: Eighth Session of the Course or as announced.
Summary of RP Exercise
The whole RP process is a limited example of teacher initiated action research. The
exercise is intended to be suggestive of how a community of educators can identify an
issue that impacts on their practice, engage in research related to it and offer a resolution.
You will note that it does not suggest a plan of action. That comes next and is considered
in more detail in the Creedon monograph on Brainstorming and Action Research.
Ipse dixit!
Lawrence P. Creedon
April 2004, January, 2007, October 2007.